Class Notes: 7/9/2014
Mark 10:45 - Mark 11:6 Jesus heals the blind man in Jericho and travels the road to Jerusalem with a crowd of pilgrims in trail
In our study of Mark we are in Mark 10:45; where Jesus uses himself as the example of service.
"Even as the Son of man came not to be served." In other words, Jesus Christ did not come in His first advent to receive the service of others, but instead He came to serve and to give His life a ransom for many (all mankind).
Jesus Christ became a slave by dying on the cross. He became a servant to the entire human race by His work of salvation. Because of this Jesus Christ will be greatest in the spiritual kingdom because He became a slave, He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Phil 2:5-9;
He was born outside of the slave market of sin so He was able to free mankind through His service on the cross. He became a slave to free the entire human race from the slavery and bondage of sin.
So Jesus uses Himself as a perfect illustration. His humanity and His service to the human race makes Him first in the spiritual kingdom and He became first by being the servant and the savior of all and as a result God exalted Him and placed Him a position that is above every other position. Rev 19:6;
Mark 10:46; On their way from the Sea of Galilee up to Jerusalem they passed through Jericho where as they were leaving with a large crowd in trail they encounter a blind man named Bartimaues. The parallel passage in Matt 20:29; says there were two blind men.
The fact that a large crowd following Him indicates that Jesus had a positive response to His Gospel message in Jericho. The city that had been cursed and destroyed thousands of years earlier as Israel moved into the promised land was now a place of blessing for those who believed in Jesus.
This was also an indication that the gentile areas of the world would be where positive volition would be found during the course of the Church Age.
There is some seeming contradiction between the Gospel records of this event. Luke mentions the incident of the blind men as if they were coming into Jericho (Luke 18:35;).
Luke says, as they approached Jericho. Matthew and Mark say that they were leaving Jericho "the blind men were sitting" but, there were two cities called Jericho; the old city that had never been rebuilt, and the new city that had been built by Herod was about 1 mile away.
Matthew and Mark refer to departing from the new Jericho whereas Luke mentions entering the old Jericho. So there is no conflict it is just a matter of knowing exactly where Jesus was along the road.
The new Jericho, the site of Herod's winter palace, was about 5 miles west of the Jordan River and 18 miles northeast of Jerusalem.
A blind person could not do much productive work in the economy at the time so the best he could do was to sit by the road begging for money from those who traveled by.
Mark 10:47; When Bartimaues heard that Jesus was passing by he began to call out and say "Jesus Son of David have mercy on me"
The Greek word translated "Have mercy" is the aorist active imperative of "eleeo" that indicates that he expected Jesus Christ to help him immediately. The word "mercy" is the word for grace in action.
Mercy is how grace is deployed. Compassion is grace thinking. The man was shouting out "Jesus , son of David have mercy on me"
Unlike the Jews who simply called him Jesus of Nazareth (his home town) the blind man called Him Jesus, the son of David referring to the prophesies regarding his unique identity as Messiah-King. 2Sam 7:12; Jer 23:5-6; He was therefore a believer in Jesus as Messiah. John 3:16;
Mark 10:48; The crowd thought that a poor blind guy should not be interrupting Jesus. Too often people have a bad habit of not minding their own business. This group is enthusiastically following Jesus but they have no sense so "Many of them rebuked him so he would shut up and be quiet."
Wherever you find a crowd of people with no thought you have a large mass of potential dynamite. Uncontrolled crowds with no capacity for doctrinal thinking are always emotional and arrogant.
This is a case of non-authorized people sticking their nose into something that is not any of their business. Busybodies and nosy people are always a hindrance to God's work.
If it had been left to the crowd the blind man would have been ignored. The crowd considered the blind man to be a nuisance. To them he was a nobody, an unproductive beggar so he was someone who was to be ignored and disregarded.
People often tend to deal with others on the basis of legalism. It is the nature of people to do this. And example of this is that if someone is nice to you, you are nice to them. In other words, they have to earn acknowledgment and respect from them under the principle of quid pro quo.
The blind man had not "paid his dues" in this manner this so the crowd had no respect for him however he was approaching Jesus on the basis of grace. "Have mercy" (I am helpless and hopeless.)
The crowd "rebuked," and it means to reprimand severely. However, when anyone approaches God on the basis of grace the God of all grace is going to respond.
Mark 10:49; Jesus stopped and said "call him here." now that Jesus recognizes him the fickle crowd that was sternly rebuking him immediately goes from rebuking him to encouraging him with the words " take courage stand up He is calling you"
We are going to see this same unstable doctrineless fickle crowd change from saying "Hosanna" to Jesus to saying "crucify Him" over the next couple of days.
Mark 10:50; Bartimaeus tossed aside his cloak that was spread before him to collect any donations that might be thrown his way, jumped up and went to Jesus.
Mark 10:51; Jesus said " what do you want Me to do for you?" Jesus' question was for the purpose of getting Bartimaues to express his faith in Jesus. Bartimaues response was concise "Rabbi I want to regain my sight" Net note 78
Mark 10:52; And Jesus said "Go your faith has healed you.." Immediately he regained his sight and followed Him on the road.
This passage is another illustration of the last becoming first. The Bartimaues was last on the field but He was first when it come to reward. This miracle was the last of Jesus' recorded miracles until His resurrection.
Grace is the basis of the last becoming first. Legalism causes the first to become last..
It also contains a lesson of faith Heb11:1; "Faith is the evidence of things not seen." Bartimaues could not see Jesus but he believed in Him. His faith, his simply believing in Jesus appropriated grace.
We also have a demonstration of the principle of cursing being turned to blessing. Gen 50:20; Batrimaues was from Jericho, the place of cursing, but in the place of cursing he found blessing just like Rahab did.
In grace Jesus contradicted the crowd. Grace almost always goes opposite the crowd. Grace has the courage to oppose widely held public opinion because grace depends upon the truth of God's word rather than on irrational emotional sentiment.
We see from this that we generally must act contrary to the desires or expectations of the majority. The believer's criterion for reality must always be, what does the Bible say not, what do the majority of people say.
The louder and more vociferous the crowd becomes the more they are to be ignored.
Mark 11:1a; As they approached Jerusalem at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives...
There is nothing recorded about what else may have occurred during the 19 mile walk up the hill from Jericho. The next verse brings us to the villages of Bethany about two miles southeast and Bethphage about one mile southeast of Jerusalem on the eastern side of the Mount of Olives. Net notes 3 and 4
Bethany was the hometown of Martha, Mary and Lazarus where Jesus stayed when He was in Judea. It was the last village near Jerusalem on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho.
Mark 11:1-2; Jesus tells two of His disciples to go into the next village ( Bethpage) and as soon as you enter you will find a colt tied there that has never been ridden, untie it and bring it here.
This is a perfect example of how Jesus lived in the moment. He knew that God would provide everything He needed as He needed it along the way. God the Father supplied what He needed just in time.
It is the same for us. It is fine to plan for the future, but never become obsessed with it or worried about it. Matt 6:33-34; Phil 4:6; God has pre-positioned all of our provisions along the way.
Our challenge is to live in God's directive will because when we are living in God's directive will He has pre-positioned everything we will need along the way we simply have to listen to God the Holy Spirit as he reveals it to us through God's Word just as Jesus did.
God's directive will for us is to conduct our lives by means of the Spirit. Gal 5:16; Net note 28 When we do this God the Holy Spirit through God's Word instructs how to acquire what we need when we need it.
Jesus could always do this because He never sinned. His thinking was always filled with the recall of God's Word by means of the Spirit.
Mark 11:3; If anyone challenged them they were simply to say that the Lord needed it and when He is done with the colt He will return it to it's owners without delay.
The parallel passage in Matt 21:2-3; indicates that the colt was with its mother and that both of them were to be brought to Him.
Mark 11:4; The disciples went and found things to be just as Jesus said they would be.
Mark 11:5-6; and when they were challenged about taking the colt they were given permission to take it.
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